Articles #Jerry Fodor


A Mind With a View

A Mind With a View

About masculinist bias in epistemology: I’m a skeptic about this, at least about the specific allegations that have been made by some feminist epistemologists, namely that the individualism and abstractness of Western (or “Western”) philosophy is evidence of masculinist bias. First of all, men have dominated philosophy and religious thought throughout the world and throughout history, whether we’re talking dualism, monism, Taoist, or Hindu. So every epistemological tradition has been shaped, if any has, by the interests and self-conceptions of men. Secondly, there’s variation within the “Western” epistemological tradition, and that variation cannot be explained by gender differences. Wittgenstein seems perfectly OK by the lights of some feminists who criticize the Anglo-American (which is really German-Austrian-(and-only-after-the-Nazis-) Anglo-American, having been more or less started by the Vienna Circle). Marx and Foucault are revered. So if those men can transcend their masculinity and produce theories (or anti-theories, in the case of Wittgenstein), I don’t see why Descartes couldn’t as well. Thirdly – and we know this largely because of the groundbreaking work of my colleague, Eileen O’Neill – women philosophers had a large influence on the development of Englightenment philosophy... Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interview Louise Antony

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Dharmakīrti's Philosophy of Mind Among Other Things

Dharmakīrti's Philosophy of Mind Among Other Things

Jerry Fodor has aptly said that the availability of the computer metaphor represents “the only respect in which contemporary Cognitive Science represents a major advance” over the representational theories of mind upheld by its eighteenth- and nineteenth-century predecessors. I’d like to think that if Fodor had known Dharmakīrti’s philosophy, he might just as well have said that the availability of the computer metaphor represents the only really significant difference between his program and that of the 7th-century Buddhist Dharmakīrti. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Dan Arnold.

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